Over the last 50 years, the US has slowly been ramping up ‘Service Sector’ employment. Many feel these jobs are not as good as the manufacturing jobs of the past, and part time retail and fast food employment is used as evidence of this. Wages are low, and there is limited advancement.
Mr. Handyman is part of the Neighborly community of brands. This community includes 13 brands oriented at providing services around the home. Mr. Handyman does general home improvement work, maintenance and repair. Mr. Rooter handles your plumbing needs. Mr. Appliance makes sure your oven is hot, and your fridge is cold. Glass Doctor can replace cracked or broken glass in your car or home. The list goes on.
These are generally referred to as trade jobs, and every trade business I know of right now is looking for help. Many are willing to hire and train those that are willing to show up every day, apply themselves and learn. These positions often involve a company vehicle, direct customer interaction and the opportunity to work with a lot of independence, while still being part of a company team.
I’m not directly recruiting here, although I do have open positions, I’m making a statement to those that feel stuck. Learning a trade is a career path. Pick a trade and get good at it. Become a journeyman, get licensed and progress as far as your ambition and enthusiasm take you. Or, continue to work for a company that needs skilled staff. The pay will far exceed that of the retail or fast food ‘services’.
I saw something on the ‘Fight for $15’ topic, where a reporter interviewed a man that had been flipping burgers for 10+ years, and he was dismayed with the wages. This is an entry level job, a ‘first job’ for many high school kids. While it is certainly gainful employment, and nobody should be ashamed to flip burgers, entry level jobs are the first step in the career path; they are not the destination.
The second challenge to those looking to advance is reliability. I’ve hired more folks than I care to admit that are not reliable. Employers can, and will, work with employees taking evening classes or coaching little league. We put the day(s) they need to leave early on the schedule and work around them. We can plan for that, and these employees often work longer other days of the week.
What an employer can’t manage is not knowing when, or if, an employee will even show up. Customer projects and satisfaction are impacted, which impacts the company’s reputation, which impact every employee of the company. Unreliable employees are quickly let go.
Whether one continues to practice their chosen trade, gets into project or contract management, or takes these skills in a different direction – you will gain life skills and perspective that will serve you well.
Trade jobs have a future.